Visits to Heaven
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I have read worse, of course, but there is no doubt that this is not a well-written book. My foremost concern involves theology. It regards the necessity of such visitations. Bill Wiese now shares his message that hell is also real and is a real place a really bad place. Yet in the Bible I find no reason to believe that God would want or need people to carry this kind of message based on their own experiences. God has given us the Bible precisely so we do not need such people! These messengers, perhaps inadvertently, deny the uniqueness and the sufficiency of the Bible.
If people will not believe the words of God as given in Scripture, why should or would they believe the fanciful words of a mere man?
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All this is not to say that 23 Minutes in Hell does not have any redeeming qualities. The author shares many things about hell that are true. He does not downplay the horrific nature of hell or, as do so many today, attempt to deny its reality. However, one thing that is conspicuous by its absence is any mention of hell being the presence of God in His wrath.
Fourteen Visits to Heaven: A Blind Man's Journey
Wiese describes it as a place where people are punished for not believing in Jesus; yet the punishments are inflicted by demons and fire rather than by God Himself. From the Bible it seems clear that God is the one who is active in hell and that He punishes both humans and demons. If Wiese does downplay the awfulness of hell, it would be right here. Take a pass on it! This passage makes it clear that there will never be anybody else called upon by God to give us further revelation of the afterlife in order to convince us of its truth. The Bible is sufficient. Bill Wiese sometimes tries to wiggle his way out of this by insisting this passage does not apply to his circumstances because he was not dead and that he is not telling anyone to look at him and be persuaded, that he is only a signpost to point them to the Scriptures.
Being "a signpost to point them to the Scriptures" as a personal witness of hell something else necessary for them to believe is the exact point of the conversation in the passage and Wiese's gibberish to exclude himself is missing the point of the passage entirely.
The fact that he can stand up on a stage in front of a body of Christians and effectively use doublespeak to deceive them is very sad. This passage in Luke applies to anybody asserting that God needs us to hear his or her further revelation so we will believe. This is exactly what Wiese is doing with a bold claim that he had this experience specifically because Jesus needs him to tell others about hell in order to let them know it is real. Bill Wiese wants us to believe that Jesus blanked out his memory of being a Christian and then allowed him to suffer pain and torment from real demons.
He experienced terror, fear, thirst, hunger, hopelessness, and much more at the hands of demons as a Christian. He expects us to believe that Jesus allowed this so that he could know the hopelessness and pain of hell was real beyond a doubt and tell others. Even after this, Jesus leaves him huddled on the floor like a baby screaming in terror. First off, Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, and he most certainly would not have left him like that to be tortured in hell while he stood by and watched for any reason. And he would never take away our knowledge of our belief in him under any condition.
Though Wiese tries to compare this to Jesus preventing two disciples from recognizing him21 as proof that he might take away Wiese's memory of being a Christian while suffering the torments of hell, these are two completely different things. Bill Wiese claims he did not know he was a Christian while in hell, but he tells us that he remembered his wife and his pastor friend Raul. So, he wants us to believe that he could remember two relationships built around service to Jesus Christ but nothing in those relationships that had to do with Jesus.
So what did he have, only a partial memory of his wife and pastor friend? I find this very strange and simply unbelievable from a logical standpoint. Let us suppose that Wiese did not remember he was a Christian, but he at some point realizes that he is in hell. Not once did he cry out to God for help like anybody else would have done if they found themselves in that situation, Christian or not. He even expects us to believe it did not even cross his mind. There are numerous other problems as well such as his instance that it was exhausting for the denizens of hell to even get out a breath and that they have no strength but then insisting that people were able to scream in torment and actually climb out of a pit of fire.
There are so many problems with the claims of this book that I am simply shocked that anybody can believe it. In his book, Bill Wiese claims he was catapulted out of bed and into a prison cell in hell, but when he returned, his body was on the living room floor. The story is clearly implying that he went to sleep and then went straight to hell. But it seems that Wiese has now realized the problem with this claim of his body moving from the bed to the living room floor.
Lately, at least since , he has been trying to clean this up with further changes to the story in which he now insists he got up out of bed to get a glass of water before being taken out of his body. Yet, it's a little too late for him to explain away this problem because he already made a large list of contradictory statements about both the actual time and whether or not he even knew what time it was:.
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But that's when I went to sleep so it had to happen somewhere between there. At 3 o'clock in the morning, I knew it was 3 o'clock, for some reason, I can't explain to you why I knew it was 3. Sid: How did you know it was three? Bill: I looked at the clock. Then, a few years later this has changed into an estimate with "about," moving to a shorter time range of minutes rather than hours It then becomes solidified as exactly a.
He then changes his story again after the book is published by claiming to have gotten up out of bed and to knowing the exact time because he looked at the clock Though Wiese may now be confident he has cleared up his moving body problem, he actually has only further exposed his fabrication, probably hoping nobody will find all his contradictory statements to expose his pattern of modifying his story whenever he sees a need to do so. The inconsistency of his ever-changing story does not stop there. Though Wiese claims in his book that the first thing he noticed was the hot temperature and that he did not know where he was after arriving until he left the cell,34 he blatantly contradicts this claim during his later interview on TBN in when he says "it only took a few seconds, honestly, to realize where I was at" and his interview with Sid Roth in in which he says, "The heat was far beyond the ability to sustain life, so I knew immediately I was in Hell.
Though Wiese claims that he instinctively knew things such as the strength of the beasts in his cell,36 somehow while knowing these things he didn't even know where he was or that the beasts were demons. What else could they possibly be? Expecting us to believe that he was not able to determine what they are is quite a stretch. And now that he has changed his story to say he knew he was in hell immediately, this part of the story even becomes more bizarre. Yet, surprisingly, that part of the story has changed too, because in his TBN interview, he says, "I looked up and saw these two enormous creatures in the cell; well, they were demons, and so I knew right then I'm in hell.
When comparing the book with other statements made by Wiese and his wife in interviews and other places, there are so many contradictions and changes in the story that it would literally be exhaustive to list them all. Just the story of Wiese's return condition and the events around it change so much that there is not even consistency on how long it took him to recover, who got the glasses of water, or whether he remembered anything from the minutes after his return or not.
There are so many serious contradictions that it is absolutely amazing that anybody can believe anything Wiese says. I have provided enough contradictions above to show that Wiese is having a difficult time keeping the details of his fabrication consistent, but if you have any doubts at all after you've read his book, please watch all of his video interviews spanning the years that are available across the Internet Do not read it.
Do not believe it. And do not feel guilty doing so. Don Piper got it started with 90 Minutes in Heaven , a really bad book that sold millions of copies. Then there was 23 Minutes in Hell , another bestseller and another awful book. Probably not. His visit came while he was on the operating table after suffering a burst appendix. He told his parents his story several months later and his parents then waited 6 or 7 years to record it in a book.
You will probably not be surprised to learn that this is not a good book. Colton dies or something close to it and visits heaven for an unknown period of time. He returns to his body and over the months and years that follow tells his parents about his time in heaven.
I Was in Heaven: – My Testimony
He tells about spending time with Jesus, about meeting the sister he never knew he had, about fluttering around with wings, about the pearly gates, and on and on. Riveting stuff, this. He tells his father some little detail. His father experiences a gasp or feels his heart skip a beat. My mind was reeling. My head was spinning. Colton gets bored and runs off. The story is told with short chapters and grade school-level writing. Fine literature it is not. The point of it all is to encourage you that heaven is a real place. Colton went there and his experience now validates its existence.
Just like Don Piper went there and his experience validates its existence. Just like the Apostle Paul went there and told us all about it in order to…oh wait. Now, what do I do with a book like this one? It seems to me that there are only a couple of options available to me. I can accept it, agreeing that this little boy is legitimate—he went to heaven and is now telling the tale for our edification. Or I can reject what this boy is saying—he did not go to heaven and this book is fictitious. Either option is very uncharitable and each one leaves me with a further problem: on what grounds can I dismiss this as fiction, as a book that is completely unprofitable?
In the first place, Colton is a toddler who speaks like an adult. His verbatim quotes sound nothing like a 4-year old, and I think I can say this with some authority as the father of a 4-year old. But there are better grounds. It is for man to die once and then the resurrection.
An Atheist Visits Heaven
To allow a man or a boy to experience heaven and then to bring him back would not be grace but cruelty. This was a unique experience in a unique time and for a unique reason. This kind of proof is exactly the kind of proof we should not need and should not want. Then she found herself in a garden and she saw her grandparents and great-grandmother and they looked young, like in wedding pictures.
Her grandfather, bald when she knew him, now had hair. Would she see her cherished daughter, who had died in a horrible accident hit by a truck a week before her sixteenth birthday?
One angel came with me and we went over this way and that way. There was a garden by a river. Mark Hitchcock, a respected Bible teacher, sorts out the facts. Then, Mark turns to the Bible, laying out clearly the teachings about heaven and experiences in this life of another world. The Bible does reveal that there is a world beyond this one, but it also contains clear warnings and amazing promises.
An Atheist Visits Heaven | The Monroe Institute
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